The Best Freshmen Of 2024 NCAA Indoor Track and Field (So Far)

The Best Freshmen Of 2024 NCAA Indoor Track and Field (So Far)

These six freshmen are each in the mix for NCAA titles this indoor season.

Jan 25, 2024 by Lincoln Shryack
The Best Freshmen Of 2024 NCAA Indoor Track and Field (So Far)

We are still very early in the 2024 NCAA indoor season, and even so there are just 7 seven weeks until the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The condensed schedule that is indoor season means that, even after just one or two performances, you can start to get an idea who will be competing for national titles come March in Boston.

That’s what makes the following freshmen so impressive— they are standing out among their more experienced peers and establishing themselves, at least early on, as the best freshmen in the country this season.

Temitope Adeshina, Texas Tech

(Current FloTrack Ranking: No. 2 in High Jump)

Temitope Adeshina soared to two records with her 1.96m high jump last Friday, as she broke the Texas Tech school mark and set the Nigerian national record with her astonishing clearance in Lubbock. Adeshina could prove to be stiff competition for reigning indoor NCAA champion Lamara Distin of Texas A&M, who has an outdoor best of 1.97m.

Habtom Samuel, New Mexico

(Current FloTrack Ranking: No. 4 in 5,000m)

Samuel, the runner-up last fall at NCAA XC, has run three races this indoor season and each has produced a 2024 top 10 time across three distances. The Eritrean native opened his season back in December with a 13:14.85 5000m, the fastest time by a freshman in NCAA history. That mark currently sits No. 4 in the country this season to go along with his 3,000m (7.45.61, No. 6) from earlier this month. Samuel will probably focus on those distances at NCAAs, but he can run a great mile, too— his 3:59.12 performance last weekend in Albuquerque (4,958 ft. elevation) converts to 3:53.92, currently No. 2 in the nation.

JaMeesia Ford, South Carolina

(Current FloTrack Ranking: No. 6 in 400m)

Ford owns the top NCAA 400m time so far this season with her 51.60 from last weekend in Boston. The South Carolina freshman has yet to lose an individual race as a collegiate, and her Gamecock 4x400m squad sits No. 3 in the country at 3:31.27 with Ford on anchor.

Tinoda Matsatsa, Georgetown

(Current FloTrack Ranking: No. 2 in 800m)

The 1,000m NCAA record set on January 12 by reigning 800m NCAA champion Yusuf Bizimana of Texas lasted all of seven days thanks to Georgetown freshman Tinoda Matsatsa. Matsatsa bettered Bizimana’s 2:18.10 with his 2:18.05 victory last Friday at the Hokie Invitational. The Maryland native has only run one 800m this season, a 1:49.58 back in December, but the 2023 USATF U20 champion has a 1:47.51 PB from his prep days to go along with his new NCAA record to suggest he can go much faster.

Shawnti Jackson, Arkansas

(Current FloTrack Ranking: No. 6 in 60m, No. 7 in 200m, No. 8 in 400m)

Based on her otherworldly high school senior season in 2023, which included a 10.89 100m national record last June, it would be no surprise if Shawnti Jackson immediately started dominating her NCAA competition. She began her Razorback career on January 12 with a 52.10 400m victory which currently ranks No. 3 in the NCAA in 2024. Jackson may ultimately focus on the 60m (7.16 PB) and 200m (22.35 outdoor PB) this season in addition to the 4x400m, but for now she’s ranked in all three individual events.

Brian Musau, Oklahoma State

(Current FloTrack Ranking: No. 7 in 3,000m, No. 7 in 5,000m)

Musau followed up a stellar cross country season in the fall (Big 12 champion, 8th at NCAA XC) with a scintillating track debut— his 7:38.04 3,000m on December 2 was good for NCAA No. 4 all-time and the best ever by a freshman. The Kenyan is one of two standout freshman on the Cowboy roster, as Denis Kipngetich was fourth at NCAA XC and has a 13:26 5,000m PB.


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Brian Musau's 7:38.04 3,000m race on December 2 in Boston